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shall present all treasons, murders, selonies " or other misdemeanors.” For treasons, murders and felonies, we admit that a capias is the proper process; and when the law directs other proper process, it had reference to a class of crimes where a capias was required. It is in vain alleged, that the counsel for Callendar made no objection to the process issued. They were rot at that time to be considered as his counsel; it was only after he was brought into court that their duty commenced.
Further, whether the proper process was a capias or summons, the law of Virginia requires that it shall be returnable to the next court; and I contend that this point is established by the English practice, To shew which I refer to Hawkins Pleas of the crown, where it is stated that a venire facias, which is in the nature of a summons, is
proper process, and that it is returnable to the next court.
It was surely then the duty of the judge to be acquainted with the laws of England, however unacquainted he may have been with the laws of Virginia. He cannot, therefore, on this ground, attempt a justification from ignorance. In his answer he informs us that ignorance of the law is no excuse. If it is no excuse in an unlettered indi. vidual, shall it constitute the apology of him who was expressly appointed to expound the law and ad. minister justice? And if on this occasion he was not acquainted with the law, did it therefore become him to proceed with such fatal precipitancy? No sooner was the presentment made, than the marshal, before any indictment was brought in, was dispatched after Callendar. We can only ac. count for this, by supposing that it was the inten. tion of the judge to act in conformity to his previ. ous declaration, however jocularly it may have seemed to have been made ; and that this was one
of the means he had determined to pursue in order to convict Callendar, regardless of the dignity of his station or the innocence of the man. Having offered these few remarks, I am instructed to say that the case is fully opened on the part of the prosecution.
WE cannot remind you, and this honourable court, as our opponents have so frequently ne, that we address you in behalf of the majesty of the people-We appear for an an ancient and infirm man, whose better days have been worn out in the service of that country which now degrades him; and who has nothing to promise you for an honourable acquittal but the approbation of your own consciences.
We are happy, however, to concur with the honorable managers in one point-I mean the importance they are disposed to give to this cause. In every relation and respect in which it can be viewed, it is indeed of infinite importance. It is important to the respondent to the full amount of his good name and reputation, and of that little portion of that happiness, the small residue of his life may afford. . It is important to you, Senators and Judges, inasmuch as you value the judgment which posterity shall pass upon the proceedings of this day. It is important to our country, as she estimates her character for sound, dignified and impartial justice in the eyes of a judging world. The little, busy vortex that plays immediately round the scene of action, considers this proceeding merely as the trial of Judge Chase, and gazes upon him as the only person interested in the result. This is a false and imper
feet view of the case. It is not the trial of Judge Chase alone. It is a trial between him and his country : and that country is as dearly interested as the Judge can be, in a fair and impartial investi. gation of the case, and in a just and honest decisi. on of it. There is yet another dread tribunal to which we should not be inattentive. We should look to it with solemn impressions of respect. It is posterity—the race of men that will come after
When all the false glare and false importance of the times shall pass awaywhen things shall settle down into a state of placid tranquility and lose that bustling motion that deceives with false appearances—when you, most honourable Senators, who sit here to judge, as well as the respondent who sits here to be judged, shall alike rest in the silence of the tomb, then comes the faithful, the scrutinizing historian, who without fear or fafavour will record this transaction; then comes a just and impartial posterity, who, without regard to persons or to dignities, will decide upon your decision. Then, I trust, the high honour and integrity of this court will stand recorded in the pure language of deserved praise, and this day will be remembered in the annals of our land, as honour. able to the respondent, to his judges, and to the justite of our country.
We have heard, sir, from the honourable ma. nagers who have addressed you, many harsh expressions. I hope, sir, they will do no harm. We have been told of the respondent's unholy sins, which even the heavenly expectation of sincere repentance cannot wash away; we have been told of his volumes of guilt, every page of which calls loudly for punishment. This sort of language but pursues the same spirit of asperity and reproach which was begun in the replication to our answer. But we come here, sir, not to complain of any
thing; we come expecting to bear and to forbear much. It does indeed seem to me, that the repli. cation filed by the honourable managers on behalf of the House of Representatives and of all the people, carries with it more acrimony than either the occasion or their dignity demanded. be said they have resorted for it to English precedent, and framed it from the replication filed in the celebrated case of Warren Hastings.
There is, however, no similarity between that case and ours. Precedents might have been found more mild in their character and more adapted to the circumstances of our case. The impeachment of Hastings was not instituted on a petty catalogue of frivolous occurrences, more calculated to excite ridicule than apprehension, but for the alleged murder of princes and plunder of empires. If, however, the choice of this case as a precedent for our pleadings has exposed us to some unpleasant expressions, it also furnishes to us abundance of consolation and hope. There, the most splendid talents that ever adorned the British nation were strained to their utmost exertion to crush the devoted victim of ma. lignant persecution. But in vain-The stern integrity-the enlightened perception—the immoveable justice of his judges stood as a barrier be. tween him and destruction, and safely protected him from the fury of the storm.--So, I trust in God, it will be with us.
In England, the impeachment of a judge is a rare occurrence. I recollect but two in half a century. But in our country, boasting of its superior purity and virtue, and declaiming ever against the vice, venality and corruption of the old world, seven Judges have been prosecuted criminally in about two years. A melancholy proof either of extreme and unequalled corruption in our Judiciary, or of strange and persecuting times among us.
The first proper object of our inquiries in this case is, to ascertain with proper precision what acts or offences of a publie officer are the objects of impeachment. This question meets us at the very threshold of the case. If it shall appear that the charges exhibited in these articles of impeachment are not, even if true, the constitutional subjects of impeachment; if it shall turn out on the invesa tigation that the Judge has really fallen into error, mistake or indiscretion, yet if he stands acquitted in proof of any such acts as by the law of the land are impeachable offences, he stands intitled to dis. charge on his trial. This proceeding by impeach. ment is a mode of trial created and defined by the constitution of our country ; and by this the court is exclusively bound. To the constitution then we must exclusively look to discover what is or is not impeachable. We shall there find the whole pro. ceeding distinctly marked out; and every thing designated and properly distributed necessary in the construction of a court of criminal jurisdiction. We shall find, 1.
1. Who shall originate or present an impeachment. 2. Who shall try it. 3. For what offences it may be used. 4. What is the punishment on conviction. The first of these points is provided for in the 2d sec. of the 1st art. of the constitution, where it is declared that “ the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.” This power corresponds with that of a grand jury to find a presentment or indictment. In the third section of the same arti. cle, the court is provided before whom the impeachment thus originated shall be tried—" the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.” And the fourth section of the second article points out and describes the offences intended to be impeachable, and the punishment which is to follow conviction ; subject to a limitation in the third section of the first article.